Kenneth P Blake, Jr (Librarian 1964-1973)

Kenneth P Blake, Jr (1926-1985) was appointed Acting Librarian in August 1964 upon the resignation of John R McKenna. In February 1965, Blake was officially appointed Librarian. During the previous five years, he had served as Readers Services Librarian in Miller Library.

After graduating from Brown University in 1948,  Blake worked as principal and teacher at the Wells Memorial School in Harrisville, New Hampshire. He completed master’s degree programs at Boston University and Simmons College.

Librarian Kenneth Blake.

Librarian Kenneth Blake.

Blake was committed to improving library services and encouraging students to use the library’s resources in a period of changing cultural attitudes and academic needs. He extended Miller’s hours, increased efficiency at the reserve desk and changed exhibits more regularly to enhance the library’s appearance. He also strove to increase library staff salaries.

Blake died in Weld, Maine in 1985 and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Franklin County.


Blake served as secretary-treasurer of the Colby Library Associates during his tenure as librarian. He worked closely with Curator Richard Cary and advocated for additional dedicated space for the college’s rare books and manuscripts, the extensive Healy Collection and Colbiana materials, which were stored in various areas throughout the library.

Works consulted:

Annual Report of the Librarian, 1964-1973. Colbiana Collection. Colby College Special Collections.

The Colby Echo. Waterville, ME: Colby University/Colby College. Web. 12 March 2015.

Colby Library Quarterly. Waterville, ME: Colby College Library. Print and web.